For the fourth year in a row, the Bully Proof Project, the Glen Cove Youth Bureau and the Glen Cove PTSA will hold its annual walk, Hit the Trails Against Bullying, to spread its message of anti-bullying within the Glen Cove community. This year, the walk will be held at Morgan Memorial Park—a change from its past location at Welwyn Preserve—on Sunday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to noon.
“We wanted to change things up a bit,” said Maria Rivera Hlatky, one of the organizers of the walk and a co-founder of the Bully Proof Project.
Hlatky, Teresa Leotta and Coleen Spinello first brought their mission to the Glen Cove community in 2015 as way to both provide support to those experiencing bullying and spread a message of kindness, while also encourages others to stand up against any acts of bullying they witness.
“Our mission is to encourage working together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages,” said Hlatky. “The more awareness that we create is one step closer to putting an end to bullying.”
The goal of the Bully Proof Project is to put an end to this crisis, to keep children of all ages safe against bullying and cyberbullying and to help educate our parents.
“Parents must teach their kids and teens empathy, kindness, compassion and respect and schools must do the same,” said Hlatky.
Over the past few years, she said she has noticed an impact within the community.
“We feel that holding this on an annual basis does help the community,” said Hlatky. “Parents have reached out to me and I’ve been able to help them address certain issues. Also, the kids see that there’s more support available to them.”
During the event at Morgan Park, Alexa Valentino, a singer, songwriter and anti-bully advocate, will give a concert at 11 a.m. Author Heather Lehrman will be reading signing her book, Bullied At the Dog Park and there will be a competition by Keke Dance. The family friendly walk is open to all ages.